You know, the winter has not been so bad this year. Probably because I don’t have to drive in it, not really, working from home. I can largely avoid the unpredictable snowfalls and driving in the early dusk. We are only days away from a glorious 5 pm sunset. I noticed this more when I’d leave for the day to a parking lot that didn’t need the streetlamps quite yet, or my headlights all the way home.
My husband just drove the snowmobile past my window with my son on it.
So, a peaceful transition of power here has taken place and I’m really starting to feel a true new start and a new year in many ways! More on that to come.
Alice Hoffman books continue. I really had a lot of them to read down, so bear with me.
The Red Garden, Alice Hoffman
This is a series of short stories moving through time centered on a small town in Massachusetts, from it’s first settlers in the 1600-1700s and through the late twentieth century. Family ties to the originals find their way into all of these stories.
I like Alice’s historical fiction and shorts so far more than I like her novels, I think. Here on Earth, a retelling of Wuthering Heights that I read a few years back, I felt was brilliant, maybe because I felt she wrote the dynamics of Heathcliff and Cathy so well, but when it comes down to her shorter novels and stories I found I was enjoying this like I enjoyed Blackbird House, which was the same idea as linked stories through time. I also find her historical fiction more appealing. I was immediately engrossed by the story of the original families that came West to claim their own space from Boston and had no idea what they were doing and ultimately were saved by a scrappy seventeen year old who refused to lay down and die in the cold winter. Having grown up and mostly lived in rural New York I can relate to the small town ness of the stories and the feeling of being linked to an early history. I definitely enjoyed this one and was sucked up into it when I was not sure I was going to press on through my Alice Hoffman backlog.
The Third Angel, Alice Hoffman
This is another one of her books that are intertwined around a central place and a few characters whose ties to one another artfully converge as the story progresses. This time it is around a hotel in London, which is different from her usual New England, and it’s The Lion Hotel, rather than a small town family home. Love and betrayal are the usual features, and families changing after devastation. A widowed man and his daughter, two sisters preparing for an ill fated wedding, a maid in love with a heroin addicted and engaged rockstar to be.
Something about this one was more engaging than some of her others. I liked the sisters and their family story coming together for the wedding, and I could relate to the ways she talks about how parenthood changes you and you love a little human more than you ever knew you could love, a discussion I often have with my eight year old over who loves who more. I liked the interesting little twelve year old coping with being dragged across the ocean by a beastly stepmother. The only part of this one that started to lose me was the maid who fell in love with the budding rockstar and how she compromised her lovely and gifted self for him. I had to skim that part because she was willing to be completely exploited by him before she got herself on track. Other than that near disaster the characters were interesting and relatable, maybe more so for me than in the Drowning Season or The Probable Future.
Okay, one more January to go, and I promise it will be my last Alice post. For better or for worse. Then it will be some books I thought would be fun for Valentine’s Day but not in like a romance novels kind of way.
Friday I officially canceled my automatic blog renewal, deciding that come mid March, on it’s sixth anniversary, Donovan Reads book blog will be no more. I am going to be creating an author website to publish my book that I have sent off for copyediting and proofreading, and will be working with professionals to get the thing designed and formatted to look amazing. To do it every justice my book deserves and to build my own writing empire. When I have the domain name settled on, I will be sharing that with my readers in hopes that you will continue to read my blog posts there, as I will still be talking books, but also about writing and my published stuff. It’s time.